Buhari confirms Nigeria's membership of Islamic Coalition against terror

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed Nigeria's membership of Islamic Coalition against terrorism spearheaded by Saudi Arabia.

Speaking during an interview aired at the weekend on international satellite news channel, Aljareeza, Buhari confirmed that Nigeria is part of the coalition. 'We are part of it because we've got terrorists in Nigeria that everybody knows which claim that they are Islamic. 'So, if there's an Islamic coalition to fight terrorism, Nigeria will be part of it because we are casualties of Islamic terrorism,' he said.

Asked whether he had suggested Nigeria's membership of the coalition during his meeting with King Salman Bin Abdul- Aziz in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Buhari replied in the affirmative.

However, the President did not give details of how the coalition would work for Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, saying he would not disclose it to the media. 'Well, that we mentioned under Lake Chad Basin Commission, our regional grouping, compromising Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria and Benin and we dedicated a certain number of troops to be deployed in our own sub region and I don't think we have to tell the press the details of that,' he said.

When asked whether joining the Islamic coalition serves Nigeria's security interest, he said, 'certainly. I've just told you it is the Boko Haram itself that declared loyalty to ISIS. 'ISIS is basically based in Islamic countries. Now, if there's a coalition to fight Islamic terrorism, why can't Nigeria be part of it while those that are fighting in Nigeria as Boko Haram claim to be Muslims. But the way they are doing it is anti-Islam.'

When it was pointed out that since Nigeria was roughly evenly divided among Christians and Muslims and that some Christians were complaining that he was giving Islamic identity to Nigeria, the president wondered why such Christians had not gone to fight Boko Haram in the North or militants sabotaging installations in the South.

'Why can't those Christians that complained go and fight terrorism in Nigeria or fight the militancy in the South. It's Nigeria that matters, not the opinion of some religious bigots. 'No religion advocates hurting the innocent and just because the Muslims are the ones that claim to be Boko Haram and they are killing innocent people whether in the church, in the bus or in the market place, then I will just sit and look at them because I too am a Muslim? Islam is against injustice in any form,' he said. National Mirror